AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Queensland rail industry a casualty of competition policy, says Beattie

<p>The rail industry in Queensland is one of the biggest casualties of national competition policy, Queensland premier Peter Beattie said.</p> <p>There had been a number of competition casualties in the state, notably in the dairy industry and many job losses in government corporations like Queensland Rail. </p> <p>Mr Beattie said future national competition reform should be nationally coordinated and focus on a few key areas that will deliver big gains &#8211 areas such as health, water, energy and transport.</p> <p>The <em>Courier Mail</em> reports that Queensland Rail is working on creating a national freight business as the best way to tackle national competition policy.</p> <p>However, it is offering a voluntary redundancy package to its 13,500 staff. </p> <p>With the advent of competition policy, Pacific National, owned by Toll Holdings, has entered the north coast freight market from Brisbane to Cairns and QR has just lost half of freight revenue. </p> <p>A QR spokesman told the <em>Courier Mail </em> that while competition policy meant Pacific National had taken an enviable slice of the company’s business, on the upside, QR is now allowed to compete nationally and the group recently won key business contracts with BHP coal in the NSW Hunter Valley. </p> <p>Mr Beattie said it is essential to make more effective use of Queensland’s rail assets, and that road transport versus rail freight is an important issue warranting a national debate.</p> <br />